In the past several weeks, we had reviewed a few different strategies for test-taking. We talked about how sometimes we need to know how to show what we know. Knowing about the format of the test and what to expect helps put the students more at ease.
Now that the test was upon us, I wanted to help students reflect on what they had learned and just relax. As the test has been approaching, anxiety seems to have been building. To take the edge off, I began by giving students a special testing treat. You can get your own copy of the cards from Ms. Winston's Blog.
As students were snacking on their treats, I read aloud The Big Test. In this great book, the students are busy learning how to show what they know on the state test. As the lessons continue, the students keep getting more and more stressed out. At the end, the students learn the most important lesson: RELAX! This book was published fairly recently and does a great job showing the anxiety that often becomes associated with these standardized tests.
Once I had finished reading aloud the book, my students and I reviewed the important things we should remember when taking the test. Students wrote their ideas on post-its, and we put the post-its on an anchor chart.
The students came up with some great responses. I let them add pictures to their post-its to liven up the anchor chart, and to have a little fun! I will show you a few of their fantastic ideas.
Read the directions and take your time.
Don't go out of the answer box.
One of my students told me the answer box was the "bane of his existence." He said he had been told "a million" times to stay in the box, but that there just wasn't enough room!
Rest for the Test!
We decided that this was such a clever slogan that we needed to start marketing it!
Get your talking out of your body.
I love this one! He said you had to talk a lot before the test so that you wouldn't have any more talking left to use during the test. No talking during the test!
While this was such a simple activity, the students really enjoyed themselves, especially when they were able to draw. I honestly think the activity helped my students realize that they are prepared for this test. This is just a chance to show what you know. In order to do this, you have to relax! How do you help your students relax?